A kidnapped five-year-old with her head shaved has been rescued moments before child traffickers attempted to put her on a train.
Police in China found the abducted girl, who was also wearing new clothes, just minutes before boarding the train and disappearing.
Tan Ziyue became the subject of a city-wide search in Xuanwei in south-western China’s Yunnan province after she disappeared on August 25.
She had been with her grandmother when a woman and another young girl approached her to play.
The pair, later identified as kidnapping suspect Fan and her granddaughter, led Ziyue away while her grandmother was not paying attention, and she was reported missing a few hours later.
CCTV footage was released showing Ziyue wearing a white dress and following Fan and her granddaughter.
Witnesses told police they had seen Fan and the two girls drive away in a taxi headed for Qujing, over 90 kilometres away where cops say the little girl was to be sold.
Local authorities tracked the suspect to Qujing Railway Station and found Ziyue after a nine hour search.
Fan had already bought a ticket to the neighbouring municipality of Chongqing and was close to disappearing with the kidnapped girl, whose head had been shaven.
Ziyue, who was also wearing different clothes, was reunited with her mother Shi Wen and father Tan Xiangpeng at the railway station.
She did not come to any harm, the family said.
Video taken by witnesses showed the suspect Fan being arrested, but the authorities did not reveal what would happen to her granddaughter, who was an unwitting accomplice to her grandmother’s crime.
– With Australscope